Blogging from the train

My parents moved up to Cameron Park which is near Sacramento, a 2-3 hour drive from where I live in San Francisco. I also sold my car back in April, which makes getting up there to visit them an interesting event. Over Thanksgiving I rented a car to get there which ends up being a little pricey (but still costs me a lot less than if I owned a car).

Anyway, I wanted to make another trip up there to help them move into their new house, and so I thought I’d try the train. I assumed I’d get some work done on the ride up, something I definitely couldn’t do if I was driving, but I was having too much fun watching the view out the window.

The Delta, from the Train

Here are a few things you can expect to see if you take the train from Emeryville to Sacramento:

  • Sweeping views of the north bay. The train snaked along the edge of the bay for 45 minutes.
  • Lots of piers, many in various states of decay
  • A unique view of the Oil Terminals in Richmond
  • Fisherman fishing on the bay
  • Views from below the new Carquinez Bridge
  • Sweeping views of the Delta & Central Valley

The Bay, from the Train

The funny thing about living in the Bay Area is that you don’t see the bay very often because it’s obscured by buildings or hills. Even on the bridges, you don’t really get to see the bay because the railings are quite high. If you take a ride on this train, you’ll get some of the best views the bay has to offer.

There is a down-side of course. The train isn’t the most convenient way to travel. Just getting to the Emeryville train station probably took me an hour, and then the train was late. The train ride itself will probably be another 2 hours, and then I still have to get picked up in Sacramento, so now add another 1/2 hour to get to my parents house. All told, the journey will probably be about 4 hours, when driving takes between 2-4 hours depending on traffic. $18 one way isn’t bad though…. I’d probably have to pay $130 to rent a car for two days. Considering I got to enjoy the view and relax instead of stressing out in traffic, I think it was well worth it.

ThinkHost: Green web hosting & other ways to become carbon neutral

I was recently introduced to ThinkHost. I use DreamhHost now for this blog and my personal email, but I like the fact that ThinkHost is powered by 100% renewable energy.

Maybe my New Years resolution for 2007 will be to become as carbon neutral as possible. A few things I’m already doing to try and be carbon neutral:
* When I fly, I offset my carbon output with one of the many offerings out there
* When I still owned a car, I bought a TerraPass.

Some things I’m not doing but probably should:
* TerraPass has a home offering as well now, to offset the energy consumed in your home.
* GreenDimes aims to help you reduce the junk mail you get from the USPS.

I’m sure there are other ways to lower my carbon footprint. Any ideas?